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February 2015

Belizean Chocolate


NewsletterFeb2015 NewsletterFeb2015 NewsletterFeb2015

CARICOM Single Market trailblazers and public sector workers courted as Spokespersons


Belizean public sector workers and Belizean nationals who have actively participated in the CARICOM Single Market (CSM) are to be trained as spokespersons in a special training workshop scheduled for February 24 and 25 at the Best Western Hotel in Belize City. The workshop is spearheaded by the Ministry of Trade, Investment, Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection – the National CSME focal point in Belize, in partnership with the CARICOM Secretariat and with funding from the Government of Canada.

Participants being mobilized include local CARICOM traders, exporters, professionals and CARICOM Youth Ambassadors, as well as public sector workers who facilitate applications under the four regimes of the CARICOM Single Market – Skills, Goods, Services and Rights of establishment of businesses.

The ambassadorial group will be deployed post training to share their experiences in accessing the CARICOM Single Market and to share with nationals how they too can access the right to work, travel and do business in 12 other CARICOM nations.

Day One of training – February 24 – begins with an opening ceremony at 5:30 p.m. to which media are invited, and will include a refresher on the rights and obligations of all Belizean nationals under the CARICOM Single Market and new developments brought about by the Shanique Myrie versus Barbados judgment.

On Day Two – February 25 – intensive training starting at 9:30 a.m. will focus on interview and presentation techniques to improve participants’ abilities to effectively share information on the CARICOM Single Market with Belizeans from all walks of life.

All participants will be inducted into the regional CSME Spokespersons Bureau at 5 p.m. on February 25, and will be specially welcomed by Andy Sutherland, Deputy Director, Ministry of Trade, Investment, Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection – National CSME focal point, Tricia Gideon, Trade Economist and the CARICOM Secretariat. The media are also invited to cover this event.

The Spokespersons Workshop follows a series of teacher training workshops on the CSM in Belmopan and Dangriga, and is precursor to the CSM Media Workshop scheduled for February 26 and 27 at Best Western Hotel in Belize City. Other Teacher Training Workshops on the CSME are planned for April in Orange Walk and Belize City.

All Workshops are key activities under the CARICOM Single Market Information Flows Project which is mandated to set the framework for heightened public education and awareness on the CSME led by the focal point Ministries in six CARICOM Member States. This includes capacity building initiatives, the AccessCSME – The workplace edition series, sustainable public education strategies and information channels. The project is being implemented in Belize, Jamaica, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Guyana.

Contact: Tricia Gideon, CSME Focal Point, Ministry of Trade, Investment, Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection

Tel: 501 822 2832

           

International Trade Center – Delivering Results Globally


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CARIBBEAN EXPORTER OF THE YEAR AWARDS


The aim of the Caribbean Exporter of the Year Awards is to create an export culture across the region by encouraging CARIFORUM firms to begin exporting or to expand

CEYA-Banner-2015croptheir exports through a programme that acknowledges and rewards exporters.

The specific objectives are:

  • To give recognition to exporters (SMEs) that have demonstrated an ability to achieve exporting success as demonstrated primarily through export volumes, diversity of export markets and sound export strategies and action plans;
  • To give recognition to youth and female exporters across the CARIFORUM region;
  • To give recognition to exporters that have integrated green technologies into their operations;
  • To encourage exporters to innovate by investing in R & D to improve product development and;
  • To encourage exporters to engage in corporate social responsibility.

Firms can be nominated in more than one category. Entry is by nomination from a business support organization, government institution, or peer within the CARIFORUM region through Caribbean Export’s website (www.carib-export.com) by February 27, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.  Applications submitted by any other method or after the deadline will not be accepted.

Description of Awards

Emerging Exporter of the Year 
The Emerging Exporter of the Year Award recognises a company that has entered the export market within the last 3 years and has already experienced success.

Young Exporter of the Year 
The Young Exporter of the Year Award recognises a company whose principle shareholder is 35 years or younger and is a successful exporter.

Female Exporter of the Year
The Female Exporter of the Year Award recognises a company whose principle shareholder is female and is a successful exporter.

Green Exporter of the Year
The Green Exporter of the Year Award recognizes an exporter that has invested in green technologies and integrated alternative/renewable energy solutions into its operations that has allowed it to experience exporting success.

Caribbean Exporter of the Year
The Caribbean Exporter of the Year Award recognizes a Caribbean firm that has achieved significant exporting success and whose brand epitomizes Caribbean Export’s guiding philosophy of “Taking Caribbean Excellence to the World.”

Special Award – Excellence in Services Exports
The Special Award recognizes an outstanding Caribbean firm that has successfully exported its services.

Eligibility Criteria

The awards are open to all firms within the CARIFORUM region that meet the eligibility criteria (see below) and are nominated by a business support organization, government institution or peer within the CARIFORUM region.Nomination forms are available on Caribbean Export’s website and should be submitted electronically on or beforeFebruary 27, 2015. Winners will be announced prior to the awards ceremony scheduled for April 16, 2015.

Interested applicants should meet the General Eligibility Criteria in addition to the relevant Award Specific Criteria to which they are applying.

General Eligibility Criteria 

Firms:

  • Must be a registered company headquartered in a CARIFORUM country;
  • Must be majority owned by a CARIFORUM national;
  • Must have an established market presence in at least one export market (regional and international)
  • Must have been in operation for at least three (3) years and exporting for at least two (2) of those years (with the exception of the emerging exporter of the year award)
  • Product or service exported must contain significant CARIFORUM content
  • Produces goods/services that demonstrate significant appeal in the export market
  • Must have annual export earnings of at least US$50,000 (with the exception of the Emerging Exporter of the Year Award) 

Award Specific Eligibility Criteria

Emerging Exporter of the Year 

  • Firm must have annual export earnings of at least US$20,000
  • Firm has been in operation for three years or less and has been actively exporting for a maximum of three (3) years 

Young Exporter of the Year 

  • Principle shareholder (owns at least 51% of firm) must be 35 years or younger as at December 31st 2015 and must be active in daily operations of firm

Female Exporter of the Year

  • Principle shareholder (owns at least 51% of firm) must be female of the firm and must be active in daily operations of firm 

Green Exporter of the Year 

  • Firm has prioritised investment in green technologies to enhance competitiveness
  • Firm has realised significant benefits (economic/environmental) as a result of integrating alternative/renewable energy solutions into its operations

Caribbean Exporter of the Year 

  • Firm has demonstrated innovation in the area of product development
  • Firm has provided increased employment opportunities to CARIFORUM nationals with emphasis on women and youth employment
  • Firm has demonstrated corporate social responsibility in the communities in which it operates 

Special Award – Excellence in Services Exports

  • Firm must be an exporter of services

Belmopan and Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC)


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On January 19th 2015 the Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC) embarked on its three week Job Readiness program in Belmopan. A total of 65 interested participants took the pre-assessments in English and Computer of which 35 qualified to start the training program. The soft skills portion of the training took place at the NEMO training room and the technical training took part at CITO’s training room. The Belmopan participants were truly a vibrant, outspoken and dedicated group. At the end of the intense three week program, the 35 participants sat in front of a panel of different call center managers to both test their knowledge learnt as well as to market themselves in hopes of acquiring a job. A competition of sorts occurred since managers saw talent in individuals and quickly marketed themselves as the better employers. After the interview, the graduation took place at the George Price Center. The keynote remarks were done by Mayor Simeon Lopez, in which he made practical and comic connections to the material that was trained and their value in the working world. The top graduate, Karima Dennison, also highlighted the importance of what was trained and the invaluable nature of the skills she had learnt. As this week winds down we will contact the participants to see if they have been contacted for second interviews or better yet, if they have been employed!

Visit our Facebook page to see more pictures https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.848134465224889.1073741918.218040954900913&type=3

Belize Outsourcing Sector Snapshot – 2014


Untitled

  • 20 Active business process outsourcing (BPO) Companies in Belize.
  • 9 New BPO’s open in 2014 in various geographic locations in Belize
  • Locations include: 11 in Belize City, 4 in Ladyville, 2 in Belmopan, 4 in San Ignacio, 1 in Independence and 1 in Dangriga
  • 2,178 currently employed by the industry as of 2014
  • Projections for 2015 estimate at 3,280 in the short term
  • Projections for 2017 estimate at 6,513 in the medium term
  • 1 Outbound Investment Promotion Show attended with eight (8) participating BPO operators from Belize: Outsource2LAC Guatemala 2014
  • 50 queries interested in the outsourcing industry interacted in 2014 by BelizeINVEST
  • Total committed investment within the sector peaked at 13 million BZD encompassing re-investment and new investments both foreign and local
  • 65% of providers hold an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) status
  • 61% of current providers are interested in a joint venture / strategic partnership
  • 30% of current providers expressed interest in merger & acquisition
  • Services currently include a mixture of inbound customer service and outbound sales campaigns; however, multiple centers are seeking diversification into new technical outsourcing areas including value added service exports.
  • 1 center currently offers both BPO and Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO)
  • Rollout of the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) under BELTRAIDE providing industry specific and demand driven training. Phase 01 focuses on developing both soft and technical skills for the BPO industry countrywide.

 

BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE remains committed to promoting and fostering continued development in Belize’s Offshore Outsourcing Industry.

New Capacity-Building Project to provide support for CARIFORUM-EU EPA


 (CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)     Key partners involved in a new Capacity-building Project to support effective implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) met in Georgetown, Guyana on 19 January 2015, to chart the way forward.

The Project, valued at €3,099,915, is financed from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme (CRIP).  In part,  the project will provide support to CARIFORUM States to implement commitments undertaken with respect to the CARIFORUM-EU EPA, and will help build capacity in all states. The areas identified for capacity building  at the basic, intermediate and tertiary levels are Competition, Public Procurement and Customs and Trade Facilitation.  The project’s  overall objective is to support the beneficial integration of the CARIFORUM States into the world economy.

The meeting of key partners on 19 January brought together representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and Equinoccio Compañía de Comercio Exterior, S.L., the Contractor. The forum presented an opportunity for the  exchange of views on key elements such as  administrative requirements, governance matters, and the work plan, including priorities to shape stakeholder engagement in the short term.

Representatives affirmed that the Project methodology should strive to embed learning outcomes and materials, on a sustainable basis, among academic and other participating institutions in the Region.

Project Manager, Mr. Eugene Petty who is also the Director of Development Cooperation in the CARICOM Secretariat-based CARIFORUM Directorate, called attention to “institutional capacity constraints across the Region which continue to hamper progress in the implementation of obligations under the CARIFORUM-EU EPA.” He informed resources have been set aside to address such constraints and build institutional capacity in the three thematic areas covered by the Project.

The head of Equinoccio’s delegation at the Meeting, Mr. Angel Diez Rubio, in noting the significance of the Project, highlighted the strong commitment of his team to partner with the CARICOM Secretariat for the successful implementation of the capacity-building initiative.

The Director-General of the CARIFORUM Directorate, Mr. Percival Marie, who has overall responsibility for the management of the Project expressed confidence that, given its credentials, Equinoccio and the consortium that the firm represents as the contractor, are well-suited to implement the terms of the consultancy. Mr. Marie also expressed the view that “in light of the project’s provision of significant, targeted capacity-building to a cross section of CARIFORUM stakeholders, it will redound to the benefit of the Region’s development.”

Signed on 13 December 2014, the project has a duration of approximately twenty-seven calendar months and  is being implemented through a service contract, by CARIFORUM, as the Contracting Authority, along with Equinoccio, Compañía de Comercio Exterior, S.L., the Contractor. In the implementation of the project, Equinoccio leads a consortium that comprises: The London School of Economics (LSE) Enterprise, Ltd.; the Maastricht School of Management (MSM); and SGS Netherlands B.V.

Background

SERVICE CONTRACT TITLE: Capacity Building Within the Caribbean Forum of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (CARIFORUM) in the Areas of Competition, Public Procurement, and Customs and Trade Facilitation in support of the Implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

The Project is geared towards conducting capacity-building training of CARIFORUM stakeholders in the public and private sectors, as well as in agencies with responsibility for the different disciplines within the Region. This training will enhance the human, legal and institutional capacity to enable CARIFORUM States to honour their commitments and attain the objectives of the EPA.

The beneficiary countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The fifteen signatory Caribbean Forum of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (CARIFORUM) to the EPA are the independent CARICOM Member States and the Dominican Republic.

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Belizean students to be taught about their rights and benefits as CARICOM nationals


MINISTRY OF TRADE, INVESTMENT PROMOTION, PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT AND CONSUMER PROTECTION

Directorate for Foreign Trade

3rd Floor, Garden City Building, 3894 Mountain View Boulevard,

Water Reservoir Area, Belmopan, Belize C.A.

Tel: (501) 822-3263/2832/2833   Fax: (501) 822-2837

E-mail: foreigntrade@btl.net

Nearly 60 Belizean teachers are now equipped to teach students about their rights and benefits under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy following two two-day intensive Teacher Training Workshops in Stann Creek and Belmopan from January 27 through to January 30.

The Workshops are among a series of public education sessions targeting important stakeholder groups who are being prepared to effectively pass on information on the CARICOM Single Market and its provisions that enable Belizeans to work, travel and do business in 12 other CARICOM Member States

The workshops were coordinated by the Ministry of Trade, Investment, Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection in partnership with the CARICOM Secretariat and made possible with funding by the Government of Canada under the CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project (CTCP) Component 300.

Teachers from a variety of subject areas attended a two day session at the Pelican Beach Resort in Dangriga, Stann Creek on January 27 and 28. The Teacher Workshop sessions then moved to Belmopan on January 29 and 30 where another 28 teachers from the capital and surrounding districts were engaged in the sessions. All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation.

The Workshops entailed    presentations  on the CARICOM Single Market delivered by Specialist Communications, CARICOM Secretariat, Salas Hamilton and the Senior Technical Officer, CTCP, Ms. Wanya Illes; updates on Belize’s implementation of requirements under the CSME given by Senior Trade Economist in the Ministry of Trade, Investment, Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, Richard Reid;   a special session  on sustaining the teaching of regional integration in CARICOM classrooms by  Deputy Programme Manager, Education, CARICOM Secretariat  Ms. Patricia McPherson.  The Belize CSME focal point also encouraged teachers to integrate CSME content into existing activities leading up to CARICOM week (28th June to July 4th) and CARICOM day.

The Workshops were facilitated by Dr Gordon Harewood, a Curriculum Development Specialist who, using an engaging and participatory approach, led teachers through a process of infusing CSME concepts into lesson plans. This is expected to afford students an opportunity to understand the provisions carved out for them under the Treaty of Chaguaramas, and how to access opportunities throughout the Caribbean and their roles and responsibilities in the Caribbean Community.

The sessions were designed to provide teachers with the knowledge and competencies to facilitate interesting, student-centred activities, and to engage teachers in exploring project-based learning. It is hoped that the workshops will lead to more effective learning and teaching of content and concepts relevant to regional integration and CSME, and help facilitate the development of 21st century skills while developing positive attitudes towards regional integration and CSME.

Other Teacher Training Workshops on the CSME are planned for April in Orange Walk and Belize City, while a Media Training Workshop and CSME Spokespersons Workshop are scheduled for the last week in February in Belize City.

All Workshops are key activities under the the CSME Information Flows Project which is mandated to  set the framework for heightened public education and awareness on the CSME led by the focal point Ministries in six CARICOM Member States. This includes capacity building initiatives, the AccessCSME series, sustainable public education strategies and information channels, and Workshop training of the Media, Teachers and Spokesperson to spread the word among their significant stakeholders and publics.  The project is being implemented in Belize, Jamaica, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Guyana.

 

Contact: Tricia Gideon, CSME Focal Point, Ministry of Trade, Investment, Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection

Tel: 501 822 2832

 

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